Building Strategic Leverage in the Indian Ocean Region


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When: Sep 22 2020 - 6:00pm until Sep 22 2020 - 7:00pm
Where: Zoom Webinar

The East-West Center in Washington invites you to the
60 Minutes for the EWC 60th Anniversary Virtual Seminar Series:

Building Strategic Leverage in the Indian Ocean Region


Dr. Arzan Tarapore
(EWCW Asia Studies Visiting Fellow, 2016),
South Asia Research Scholar,
Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

Ms. Nilanthi Samaranayake (Discussant)
Director, Strategy and Policy Analysis Program,
Center for Naval Analyses (CNA)

Dr.  Satu P. Limaye (Moderator)
Vice President, East-West Center &
Director, East West Center in Washington

This presentation offered a conceptual framework and policy recommendations for managing the growing risks associated with Chinese military expansion in the Left to right: Dr. Arzan Tarapore and Dr. Nilanthi Samaranayake Indian Ocean region. While the United States and its partners have agreed to pursue a "free and open Indo-Pacific," they have not developed a sound theory of victory of how to achieve that end-state. This presentation offered a concept built around a strategy of denial, by which the US, India, and their like-minded partners can impede potential Chinese coercion and mitigate its wartime advantages. 

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the East-West Center and its mission to promote better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. The East-West Center in Washington (EWCW)’s 60 Minutes for the EWC 60th Anniversary Alumni Seminar Series  highlights the work of EWCW alumni/ae who have participated in our fellowship, publication, dialogue, and conference programs.


Arzan Tarapore is the South Asia research scholar at the Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. He previously served for 13 years as an analyst for the Australian Defence Department. He holds a PhD in war studies from King's College London, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a BA (Hons) from the University of New South Wales.

Nilanthi Samaranayake is Director of the Strategy and Policy Analysis program at CNA in Arlington, VA. She has led several studies at CNA on Indian Ocean security, including the US-India naval relationship. Prior to joining CNA in 2010, Samaranayake completed a fellowship at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), where she investigated Sri Lanka’s ties with China. Her findings were published in the journal, Asian Security. She has authored book chapters on the Indian Navy; the smaller countries of South Asia and their relations with China; and the US-China-India “strategic triangle” in the Indian Ocean. Samaranayake’s analysis has been featured in LawfareThe National InterestWar on the Rocks, and The Diplomat. She has appeared in media such as Al JazeeraNew York Times, and Nikkei Asian Review. Samaranayake is co-author (with Satu Limaye and Joel Wuthnow) of Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh, and Brahmaputra River Politics (Marine Corps University Press). Samaranayake analyzed public opinion for a decade at Pew Research Center in Washington, DC. She holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Satu Limaye is Vice President of the East-West Center and the Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and is the founding editor of the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is a graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Recent publications include: “America’s ‘Pacific Principle’ in an Indivisible Pacific Islands Region,” (Asia-Pacific Bulletin); “Despite Stumbles, America’s Engagement with Southeast Runs Deep,” (Global Asia); Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh, and Brahmaputra Water Politics (Marine Corps University Press); and Russia’s Peripheral Relevance to US-Indo Pacific Relations (Center for the National Interest).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
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